Ever wonder what West Side Story would’ve been like if the Sharks and the Jets were wearing whimsical, full-face animal masks? Probably not, but you can watch this random, entertaining concept play out in the music video for California indie rock outfit Before The Brave’s new song “Cold, Cold, Cold,” which they’re premiering today on Paste.
“Cold, Cold, Cold” employs that brilliant but underutilized lyrical device, the conversation duet. Vocalists Beth Garber and Jason Stevens play separated lovers who take turns responding to their recent break up; drummer Kyle Teese says that the track describes “the walls we put up in relationships when communication breaks down, while serving as a rallying cry to stay and fight for one another.” Over warm piano chords, a pleasantly roving bass line, and invigorating drums, Stevens sings that he’s “trying to be the man you love and hold,” while Garber reflects, “You’ve gone off to find yourself, and I guess that I could never help.”
But that’s all normal, human pain. In the video, Before The Brave take it to a much wilder place. It opens onto scenes of domestic bliss between beasts that are half-people, half-animal. These odd beings cuddle, buy clothes together and even ride bikes down the street (a nerve-racking sight, as the masks have no visible eyeholes).
This peacefulness doesn’t last long. As the first chorus hits, all hell breaks loose: the action descends into fistfights and various creative methods of physical assault. The climax is the West Side Story-esque confrontation, in which the beasts convene into two groups, approach each other with finger snaps and dance moves, and battle it out. The video ends in (non-gory) carnage, with the last survivor, a dog-human, heaving his last breaths and collapsing onto the wreck of bodies.
The grim comedy of the video (directed and produced by Stevens and Happy Nguyen) is fitting for the song’s ironic combo of sunny music with tormented lyrics. Taken from their forthcoming album Better Country, “Cold, Cold, Cold” bodes of great music to come. Check out Before The Brave on their website here and stay tuned for Better Country, coming Oct. 21. Watch “Cold, Cold, Cold” above.